The Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced a new policy directing law enforcement agencies to increase the use of asset forfeiture in the name of fighting the drug war. Sessions is appointed under a Republican administration that presumably represents the interest of citizens who desire to limit the power of the federal government. Increasing the power and willingness of the government to seize the property of Americans who haven’t been charged with a crime is in contrast to the beliefs of most conservatives who want the power of government limited, who desire to preserve the right to a jury trial, and the right to personal property. Each of these principles are trampled by asset forfeiture. In asset forfeiture, citizen’s property is seized without a hearing, they are forced to pay a fee to even contest the seizure, there is no jury trial, and the government does not have to prove the citizen guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The use of this fascist process is on the increase not only in the federal government but also in the State of Tennessee. Every citizen, conservative and liberal alike, should staunchly oppose this process.
I will be presenting the citizens’ side to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on Monday in Nashville. I doubt anyone will listen but I will sound the trumpet in any event. I am afraid that Tennesseans, and all Americans, will continue allow law enforcement to take private property without a hearing – because no one cares until it is their property.
In Defense of the Citizen Accused,